Emmaus International

 © Rasande Tyskar


On 28 and 29 June, the leaders of the 28 EU Member States met in Brussels in order to map out an EU migration policy that is decidely based on extreme refoulement.
At a time when Brussels is committed to closing borders, the Emmaus groups in Europe are becoming increasingly concerned at the lack of humanity shown on the ground by the EU on a daily basis.
The Emmaus Groups met in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia where they spoke out against the positioning of the 28 Member States and recalled the principles advocated by Emmaus of unconditional welcome and freedom of movement. 

 The current situation

Emmaus Europe member groups met in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia and bore witness to what they are observing every day on the ground - the EU losing its very soul. The European Union:

- Drafts European law that fails to respect human rights and international law.
- Does not respond when Member States violate fundamental rights.
- Declares war on migrants.
- Imprisons migrants in detention centres.
- Transforms borders into walls of barbed wire.
- Humanely differentiates between people migrating for economic reasons and those who are claiming asylum.
- Accepts the free movement of goods and capital but rejects freedom of movement for human beings.
- Criminalises European citizens and associations that support migrants.
- Has lost its sense of democracy and its responsibilities by outsourcing asylum applications.
- Is implementing a migration policy which involves the setting up of migrant processing centres and detention camps.
- Justifies its deadly migration policy by stating that it is a bulwark against the extreme right. While the anti-migrant speech only reinforces this one...
- Signs bilateral agreements with third countries to control their nationals’ right to migrate. Third country nationals are repressed and their ability to claim asylum is jeopardized. Outsourcing of border management is based on a rationale of offshoring, subcontracting, privatisation and shirking responsibilities.
- Concludes informal agreements outside the framework of legislative and democratic processes.
There is no migration crisis, instead there is a migrant reception crisis which is becoming a crisis of conscience 
Emmaus has been offering unconditional shelter and support since 1954 in its 298 European groups located in 19 countries and wishes to reiterate that no human being is “illegal” and is calling for:

- The direct consultation and involvement of members of the Migrant community in shaping future Migration Policy and Practice. They are, after all, 'Experts through the Experience'.
- Compliance with article 1 of the declaration of human rights which states “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” and article 13 which state that “everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state and everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.”
-The abolition of the Dublin regulation and compliance with the Geneva Convention of 1951 on refugee status.
- An end to all inhumane and degrading treatment of migrants.
- Search and rescue ships being systematically allowed to dock in all European ports.
- The direct consultation and involvement of the Migrants in shaping future Migration Policy and Practice. They are, after all, 'Experts through the Experience'.
- The permanent cessation of negotiations on the creation of migrant detention centres. In this respect, an agreement was reached by the 28 Member States on the night of 28-9 June 2018.
- The European Union to promote peace. The EU should condemn conflicts and promote action against the arms trade.

In response to our society’s excesses, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights needs to be applied as a matter of urgency and we need to implement its ideals in our work.
Human rights should apply to all in Europe and worldwide.

Osijek, 22 June 2018